Bosses of the oil and gas industry from all corners of the globe are in Norway this week for the Offshore Northern Seas (ONS) energy show.
Scottish service firms of all sizes are at the four-day Stavanger event, which kicked off this morning.
More than 35,000 people from all over the world are expected for the biennial gathering.
Beating all previous records, this year’s show has seen stand space expand to nearly 203,000 square feet, while some 27 nations are exhibiting.
Kjell Ursin-Smith, chief executive of the ONS Foundation, said: “The petroleum industry is enjoying a boom, of course, but we’re also benefiting from purposeful work over many years.
“Aimed at improving the event and putting it on the international map, these successful efforts have won us a genuine status as a key meeting place for the global energy industry.”
The ONS 2008 exhibition space was sold out long ago, with a long waiting list of applicants.
Mr Ursin-Smith said nearly 50% of exhibitors were from abroad, up from the previous event in 2006, however, the overall number of exhibitors had declined to 1,197 from 1,290 two years ago, which he attributed to company consolidation and an increase in average stand size.
There are 137 UK exhibitors at ONS 2008.
Aberdeen-based industrial-cleaning and waste-disposal company MS Industrial Services (MSIS) is attending ONS following a strategic alliance with a Norwegian business.
MSIS recently signed an agreement with Overflateteknikk, a provider of chemical cleaning services.
MSIS commercial director Neil McArthur said the Norwegian market was a key area of focus for the organisation and he felt the alliance was a major development in ensuring the continued growth and success of MSIS.
He added: “We aim to introduce work to Overflateteknikk in Scotland and, of course, hopefully the agreement will assist MSIS in attracting and securing work in Norway, a key area of business growth for us.
“The Norwegian market is very mature and companies can only enter it through innovative means. Many contractors encounter difficulties breaking into the market, however, our relationship with Overflateteknikk will hopefully attract and secure the attention of the big players in Norway – who we can approach with confidence.”
Aberdeen company Brinker is today launching a new sealing solution at ONS. Plasma is described by Brinker as a dynamic sealant that effectively fixes very fine leaks and cracks such as those that result from fitting failures or faulty valves.
Executive director Glynn Williams said Plasma had already been on trial with early success on a gas-export riser for a major operator.
He added: “Its ability to meet the increasing need for operators to minimise downtime in ageing infrastructure provides huge potential for Brinker and it is anticipated that the product will help to increase the company’s revenue by 20% this year and save the industry millions of pounds.”
A host of top speakers has been assembled for the ONS conference, including: Lord Browne, former chief executive of BP; Nobuo Tanaka, head of the International Energy Agency; Norwegian premier Jens Stoltenberg; and StatoilHydro chief executive Helge Lund.
ONS 2008 has a number of new features, including an additional temporary hall which houses a new theme park for renewable energy among its stands.
Mr Ursin-Smith said: “We’re pleased about the renewable-energy park. Like the industry as a whole, we’re working within an expanded energy concept.”
Houston and Aberdeen will be participating for the first time as guest cities at this year’s ONS festival in downtown Stavanger.